>On Facebook Privacy

>I’ve had a Facebook for six years. Colby College was one of the first schools added after the original Ivy Leagues. That’s right, for those of you who don’t remember, Facebook used to only be for college students, and select college students at that. I remember getting excited as more and more schools were added because that meant more people I knew could have a Facebook and I could have more friends. It was great.

And then they added high schools. I didn’t like that so much. I liked that Facebook was “exclusive”. But I got over it.

Then they opened it up to businesses. Then to EVERYONE.

“Ugh, Facebook is just like MySpace now” everyone said.

Just as Facebook has opened up it’s site to more and more people over the years until eventually everyone could have a facebook, it has changed its privacy policies.

Eileen linked to this article on her Facebook page which then linked to this very interesting article on the evolution of the Facebook privacy policy. If it weren’t true, it would be hilarious.

Currently, there is NO WAY to not show your birthday, pages you “like”, bio and favorite quotes to everyone who has Facebook, unless you simply erase that information from your profile.

I’m not sure why I’m so concerned about privacy. I mean, I have a blog where I blab about my life so obviously I’m not against sharing some information about myself to strangers on the internet. I don’t think enough information is available to steal my identity. I have really strong passwords to all important websites. I don’t worry about stalkers because I never publish my address or phone number. I’ve never had any email or cyber stalkers (knock on wood).

I think it comes down to me wanting to be IN CONTROL of what information is out there. I don’t want someone who is idly stalking Facebook to click on my profile and see anything about me besides my name. I used to have my picture hidden too, but now that’s impossible as well. I want people to have to friend me to be able to see that information. Because if everyone can see it, what is really the point of being Facebook friends? It’s as if by implementing these policies (including setting the default for a lot of information to “Everybody” those tricky bastards), Facebook is making being “friends” with someone obsolete!

I don’t think I’m to the point where I’m going to eliminate my Facebook. I unfortunately rely on it too much to keep in touch with people. But these changes make me mad.

I encourage everyone who reads this to review their privacy settings on their account. As I mentioned, by default a lot of things are set to “Everyone.” Check out this NYTimes article on how to do this.

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